Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cons, Achievement, Anthologies, Mutilation and Manifest Destiny!

Well, dear readers, much has happened since I last made time to update. In fact, I'm not even going to apologize because, once you get to the end of this post you'll be overwhelmed with sympathy for how busy I've been and you'll have forgiven me, I just know it!

At the beginning of April, I finished my first print run of Sugar Baby so cartoonists Caitlin McGurk, Brandon Elston, Matt Aucoin and I headed to the big city for this year's MoCCA Arts Festival. Don't get me wrong, we had an excellent time at MoCCA; it was great to spend two days surrounded by comics and cartoonist pals I don't get to see very often but, the show itself was kind of a let down. The entry fee was too high, it wasn't well advertised and, as a result, the attendance was really low. I just barely broke even on the cost of my table and, frankly, I don't think I'll do MoCCA again. That said, here's my table a little worn out at the end of day two - from left to right we've got the hilarious Benjamin Birdie, that sweet, secretly mischievous CCS fellow, David Libens (not pictured), the charming Brandon Elston and myself.
After MoCCA, I got to work on some anthology pieces for two anthologies that debuted at last weekend's Maine Comic Arts Festival. Kevin Uehlein's Visions of the Aporkalpse is a collection of short comics about the inevitable, eventual, violent takeover of the world by our cloven-hoved slaughter-house-bound friends. AND, those werewolf lovin' cartoonists are at it again with Werewolf! Issue 4 and the brand new werewolf anthology just for kids, Were-Pups! featuring the talents of Melissa Mendes, Penina Gal, Colleen Frakes, Betsey Swardlick, Dakota McFadzean and myself. (As I typed this I realized that I'm now in two back to back anthologies about animals and violence...don't analyze that, I love animals.)

Oh yeah, after I finished those anthology pieces, this crazy thing happened where I turned in my thesis packet and...I PASSED! I PASSED I PASSED I PASSED! AND, a monumental thing happened, not only did I pass, but so did the rest of the entire class of 2011!!!! We're the first CCS class ever to all pass on the first try so, we made the grade and we made some history. CCS graduation was as characteristically CCS as anything else we do - there was a choreographed dance, the faculty was mocked lovingly, Francoise Mouly spoke beautifully, there were space-ships on our Aaron Renier original diplomas! Here we are, overjoyed in front of The Colodny just before we took the stage:
No less than 12 members of the Kane/Bogin clan arrived in White River to join in the festivities! I can't remember the last time I had so much of my family in the same place at the same time - not to get too mushy but, I really felt loved. I only wish my my Bubby, Norma could've been there. Here's a picture my dad snapped of me in front of my display in the Colodny gallery - the exhibit goes until June 11th if you're passing through White River!
After our families left town, a bunch of us decided to get gang tats to commemorate what we achieved here at CCS, including my wonderful, fellow newly pronounced CCS graduate, Beth Hetland pictured below:
That brings us almost up to speed - this past weekend Jen Vaughn, Caitlin McGurk, Matt Aucoin, JT Dockery and I roadtripped up to Portland, ME for the Casablanca Comics organized MeCAF. Here I am with my target audience, mutually enchanted:
MeCAF is a one day show but, what a great one day show. I loved it last year too - it's really well attended and there's a really positive energy about it. Maybe it's because it's in this beautiful convention center right on the ocean where I can watch the sailboats go by while I talk comics with comics enthusiasts, or maybe it's because organizer Rick Lowell treats us so well. The con was preceded by a tour of Portland's own Shipyard Brewery complete with free beer and pizza! Maybe it's both, either way, I'll be sad not to be around for MeCAF next year...which brings me to my last piece of news: I'm moving.

I know, it sounds crazy, but after nine years of wandering further and further east - I'm heading home. The promise of tolerable weather, employment opportunities and the chance to be close to my family are all undeniably appealing. So, look out Bay Area, this wayward daughter is coming home a week from tomorrow! I'm not sure yet what the Bay Area cartooning community looks like but, the possibilities of new friends, new ideas, new cons, new opportunities can all only be good and, once I say goodbye to White River and my broken heart starts to mend, I'm sure I'll be excited.